The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) on June 30 announced its public access plan to make the agency’s Federally funded research more widely available to the public.

The plan – titled “‘Ensuring Free, Immediate and Equitable Access to the Results of Department of Energy Scientific Research” – follows through on the Biden Administration’s August 2022 directive to make the results of taxpayer-supported research available to the American public free of charge.

DoE said its public access plan aims to:

  • Provide free, immediate access to peer-reviewed, scholarly publications;
  • Provide immediate access to scientific data displayed in or underlying publications and increased access to other data; and
  • Use persistent identifiers (PIDs) for research outputs, researchers, organizations, and awards.

The agency said it will issue related publications and data components guidance by December 2024, followed by policy and guidance for PID requirements.

“Science and innovation cannot flourish in the dark—they require openness, scrutiny, and reexamination so that we can build on them to create the knowledge and technologies that will change the world,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

Some of the steps that the plan will take include providing awards and contracts for DoE-approved Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP) proposals to help maintain research data at the department.

“The DMSP will address validation and replication of results, timely and equitable access, data repository selection, data management resources, and data sharing limitations. Proposals may include the cost of implementing the DMSP in the proposed budget,” the agency said.

In 2014, the Energy Department adopted a similar plan to provide more agency information to the public, and since then has provided about 200,000 documents that were generated through funding provided by the agency.

“As one of the Federal Government’s leading sponsors of research, DOE is proud and excited to get our data and research out into the public’s hands faster and more efficiently, and we look forward to expanding and accelerating that access by engaging the American public in DOE’s mission,” said Granholm.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.